Brendan Cole: I’m ‘in shock’ at Strictly Come Dancing ousting
BRENDAN COLE looked close to tears as he revealed he has danced his last on Strictly.
The news comes as a ‘shock’, the performer said — not least because he has been with the show since it began back in 2004 and only he and Anton du Beke remained of the original line-up.
‘It’s hard to talk about,’ Brendan told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.
‘The BBC haven’t renewed my contract. They made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I’m in shock. I’m quite emotional.’
Later he added: ‘I’ll miss being a Strictly dancer … It feels quite raw.’
Many will speculate that his ousting comes after he and new judge Shirley Ballas had a falling out in the last series.
Shirley said there was too much ‘rise and fall’ in his sequence with dance partner Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins — an opinion he disputed.
And Brendan alluded to this as a possible reason during his chat with Lorraine.
‘I’m a very strong character within the show,’ he said. ‘I have my strong views. Some do, some don’t [like it].’
But he was still able to joke about it, saying: ‘They won’t have that anymore, nobody will argue with the judges — I don’t know who I’m going to hand the baton to.’
Pointedly, perhaps, Brendan did not mention any of the judges when paying tribute to his team.
‘I’ll miss my gang, the pros on the show, they’re a phenomenal bunch. I love them to bits.’
Brendan has his own theory about why he may have been dropped — and it won’t please his most recent dance partners.
‘The last five years I haven’t really made much of a noise on the show with my partners: they haven’t been able to do what I’ve wanted to do,’ he said.
‘No disrespect to them. I haven’t had one of the ones that had a bit of dance experience that you can really challenge.’
Despite this, his latest partner Charlotte expressed her sadness at his axeing, tweeting: ‘Sad news from my dance partner @BrendanCole this morning that he won’t be a part of @bbcstrictly anymore.
‘What an end of an era — he’s been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won’t be the same without him.’
Others agreed, with Brendan’s former Strictly colleague James Jordan tweeting: ‘Seems like they don’t want anyone on the show that has an opinion. Especially when he played a massive part in making the show what it is today.’
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We’d like to thank Brendan for being part of the show since the beginning — winner of the first series — and for the contribution he has made to its success. We wish him all the very best for the future.’
It looks like Brendan will bounce back, though, as he was already joking to Lorraine that: ‘I’m very sad to leave, to not be asked back… However, I’m available for weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs.’
Author: Anna Thomson